Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tri Season Notes

This season I did 5 triathlons, three sprints and two Olympics.This season marks my second full season of races. So here's how it lined up.

Spring Training (Sprint)6:581:3531:4418.528:219:27
Egg Hunt (Sprint)9:052:0434:1417.529.489:35
Trinona (Olympic)23:111:251:27:3217.857.469:17
Lake Front Days (Sprint)6:411:3140:5819.828:068:30
Maple Grove (Olympic)25:591:351:22:3319.253:038:32

What I see
  • Egg Hunt swim is an anomaly, either the course is longer than advertised, or the timing mat is way after you get out.
  • Trinona is the only wetsuit swim, it's also my fastest pace. The wetsuit makes a big difference.
  • Other than that the swimming training adds a less tangible benefit in the form of confidence and overall conditioning for the rest of the race.
  • Spring training tri is likely an anomaly again, my guess is the bike course isn't as long as they say it is
  • After that you can see that the bike legs get significantly faster. Summer time group rides really go a long way to building up speed.
  • The first three races all had walking in them. The first two I just couldn't muster the strength to handle it. The third I had some sort of back cramp. The last two I was able to run the whole way through.
  • Even without lots of run training my times came down. This is likely due to overall conditioning brought on by hard swimming and biking and just keeping the running up.
  • Holding the same pace on a 5k and a 10k probably means I could have pushed the run leg faster in Lake front days race. Especially since the longer race had five little hills in it.
It's surprising to me that all my swimming training didn't have a more noticeable impact on times. But it does provide a lot of confidence. I would not have had the guts to tackle the longer distances without taking time to put in the yards. It also takes away the fear of draining my energy on the shorter races.

The bike work has a very noticeable impact on times, it basically boils down to a 2 mph gain over the course of the summer.

The big surprise of this summer is how the run has come along. I really was just putting in the miles and not thinking much about building speed; I did maybe one tempo run all summer.

Next Season
So the goals for next season line up like this
  • Start the season in as good or better shape than where I finished.
  • Add another 1 or 2 mph on the bike. If I can get average speed up over 20 mph consistently that will help a lot
  • Bring the run pace down. When people talk about going fast on the run they are thinking around six minutes average. When I talk about it I'm thinking around 8 minutes, 8:30 if I'm doing a triathlon. That needs to come WAY down.
  • Practice transitions. They are finally starting to hurt me. Adding two minutes in transition is like running an extra 1/4 mile, or 3/4 mile on the bike.
  • I'm also going to try to fit in at least one half iron distance event.
This season is over for me. I am taking a pretty long break, my goal is to take it easy for the next 3.5 months. I'll pick it up again in January.

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